Our Best Friends
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “A dog is a man’s best friend.” In law enforcement, our canine partners really are some of our best friends. Here in Mendocino County, we are lucky to have many committed officer and canine partner teams who do everything from searching for missing persons to identifying people with illicit drugs to protecting us from harm.
If you’ve ever seen these police dogs in action, you know why we care about our four-legged partners so much. What you might not know is that many of these dogs were rescued from animal shelters and retrained for a life of service.
These dogs are instrumental in protecting officers from harm and helping our officers do their jobs. In return, we treat our canine partners well; they get regular training, nutritious food, lots of playtime, great veterinary care, and air conditioning while in our patrol cars.
A few weeks ago, I talked about the dangers of leaving your dog in a car when it’s warm outside, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to remind everyone that a car can quickly become much hotter than the ambient (outdoor) temperature. In fact, on a 90-degree day, the inside of your car can reach over 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes.
An animal in these dangerous conditions can sustain brain damage or die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes. Dogs have a harder time in the heat, because they can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their paws and nose.
The penal code says anyone who "tortures, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, drink, or shelter, cruelly beats, or cruelly kills any animal" can be charged with a felony. If convicted, the dog's owner could face up to three years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Here at UPD, we take these incidents very seriously and we hope you do too, because all dogs deserve the best care we can give them.
If you have ever considered adding a new dog or cat to your family, I hope you’ll consider a rescued animal first. Here in Mendocino County, we are lucky to have several organizations committed to rescuing dogs and cats. The shelters care for mistreated animals, provide needed medical care and get these rescued animals ready to be great pets and companions for local families.
If you are looking for a pet companion for your family, please start your search by contacting these great local shelters: the Mendocino County Animal Shelter (467-6453), the Humane Society of Inland Mendocino County (485-0123), the Mendocino Coast Humane Society (964-7729) and Bones Pet Rescue in Covelo (367-1543). You can also search for pets located in our county at www.pawstoadopt.com and www.petfinder.com.
If you’re looking for a cat, the Anderson Valley Animal Rescue has great cats for adoption at Rainbow Agricultural Services and the Mendocino County Farm Supply here in Ukiah.
Not sure you are ready to adopt a pet? The Mendocino County Animal Care and Control shelter is looking for weekend foster parents—think of it as a trial run. You can learn more by visiting their Facebook page.
As you finish reading this column, you might be thinking, “So how does adopting a rescued cat or dog help fight crime?”
And, I’m glad you asked, because even though I have no scientific data to support these claims, I do know that owning a pet makes people happier, and happy people commit fewer crimes.
When you adopt a pet from a shelter, you also make our officers happier. It can break their hearts to take unwanted animals to a shelter. Many of us consider our dogs and cats as some of our best friends and we don’t think best friends should be left at a shelter. So please, consider adopting a cat or dog today!
As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have suggestions on how we can improve please feel free to call me. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cell phone and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com.
By: Chris Dewey - Chief of Police